A group of former North York employees are suing the borough for a combined $779,154 for severance pay they claim they never received.
Two former managers, including Kevin Hevner, who was terminated from the post earlier this year, are among the five former employees to file suits in the York County Court of Common Pleas on Dec. 6.
"We feel this is a good case," said Ben Pratt, an attorney with CGA, the York City law firm representing the former employees. "Our hope is our clients are provided the money that they are owed."
Hevner claims he is owed nearly $350,000 in severance pay, benefits he is to receive until his death and for unused vacation, personal and sick days he accrued from when he was appointed manager in 2006 to early June when he was terminated.
Lawsuits: Former employees Stewart Graybill, who most recently was the borough clerk; Norma Hess, the former borough secretary/treasurer; and Millissa Wilt, who was a clerk prior to Graybill, along with former firefighter Richard Rabuck Jr. also filed suits against the borough.
A sheriff's deputy served the documents to council president Vivian Amspacher during a council meeting Monday, and the council quickly went into executive session.
"When we can tell you more, we will," Amspacher told the sparse crowd when the meeting resumed.
Rabuck was a borough public works employee until the earlier this week.
"He was terminated the day after the borough was served," Pratt said.
Details: According to court documents, Rabuck started with the borough in 2004 as a public works employee and transferred to a paid firefighter position in 2005. After the borough got rid of the paid fire service in 2012, he was re-hired as a public works employee.
As part of the firefighters' union agreement with the borough, Rabuck was to be paid a $100,000 severance package, which he said he never received, documents state.
According to the suits, Wilt is seeking $121,196; Graybill, who was previously the borough manager, is seeking $103,658; and Hess is seeking $105,133 for three years of severance pay and benefits.
Managers: Hevner, who started with the borough in 1988 as a public works employee, previously served on the council and was the mayor until he was appointed to manager in 2006 after Graybill retired from the position.
In June, Hevner was terminated and Graybill was hired as a municipal clerk but was terminated a few months later, in October, documents state.
Hevner was "let go because he was not fulfilling his responsibilities as manger," borough solicitor John Elliott said at the time.
When reached by phone earlier this week Elliott declined to comment on the lawsuits.
Alleged theft: A few days before Hevner was placed on unpaid suspension in the lead-up to his firing, Amspacher told a number of people that Hevner was a "thief" and "had been stealing money from the borough," court documents allege.
Hevner "maintains that he didn't take any money," Pratt said.
Shortly after Hevner was terminated, the council sought a firm to audit borough financial records between 2009 and 2013.
Reached by phone Thursday, Amspacher said "I don't know anything about that" when asked if she made comments about alleged thefts.
She declined further comment but directed questions to Steve Hovis, an attorney with Stock and Leader who is representing the borough in the suits.
Hovis could not be reached for comment Thursday night.
-- Reach Greg Gross at firstname.lastname@example.org.